Sunday, November 27, 2011

galaxy of lights 2011

Walking through the Galaxy of Lights exhibit at the Huntsville Botanical Gardens is one of our favorite Christmas traditions (even though we do it well before Thanksgiving). You see, we used to drive through it sometime between Christmas and New Years, but invariably the person in the vehicle behind us would leave their headlights on (not that there aren't hugeongous signs as you pull in telling you to turn the frelling things off) and kind of ruin it for us. So three years ago I got the bright idea that we should instead attend the pre-Thanksgiving walking days.

After that first walk, we never, ever wanted to drive again. It's so much more fun when we can take our time (and I can lug the camera) and not have to worry about, you know, glare.

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This year the exhibit was much, much bigger than in the past. So much so, in fact, that they changed the entrance from the Botanical Garden main gate all the way over to the Space and Rocket Center (any Space Camp peeps in the audience?).

Here's a shot of what it looks like when you walk in- winding path after winding path of nothing but gorgeous light displays.

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Some of them are animated, like this caterpillar.

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Here's a whole row of flowers- rather fitting for a garden.

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I think Darren's eye started to twitch when he spotted the squirrels (we have a serious squirrel problem in our neighborhood).

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Dinosaurs. Because it's just not Christmas without dinosaurs. :) Or something like that...

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Animated penguin slide!! Squee!

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This part? Is my absolute favorite of them all. It's a "tunnel" of massive curtains of lights, interlaced with snowflakes. It's simply gorgeous, and I might have made Darren walk through it with me two...okay, three times. That's another nice thing about walking- you can go back and see stuff again.

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I purposely unfocused this shot- I love Christmas light bokeh!

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The more traditional Christmas displays were after this section.

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I loved these trees- they're so simple.

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The nativity is another one of my favorites.

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Ahhh, the Nutcracker exhibit. I love and collect nutcracker dolls, so of course I love this display, too. And the really cool part? It's animated to Trans Siberian Orchestra's Christmas Eve / Sarajevo. So awesome!

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The nursery rhyme section...

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The farming section (hey, this is Alabama...)

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And many, many more displays on the way out.

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I actually took more than 150 photos this year. If you're interested in seeing more of them, you can find them all here in a Flickr set.